Every week, Executive Food Editor Keith Dresser pairs each main dish with a side to give you a complete, satisfying dinner without the guesswork. Look for the game plan section to learn tips on how to streamline your kitchen work so dinner comes together quicker.
Dinner 1: Country-Style Potato-Leek Soup and Biscuits
For Country-Style Potato-Leek Soup with Kielbasa with a chunky, hearty texture, we start with creamy, lower-starch Red Bliss potatoes. Removing the pot from the heat allows the potatoes to finish cooking in the hot broth, thereby preventing them from overcooking and getting mushy. A relatively small amount of lightly smoked kielbasa adds heartiness without overwhelming the flavor of the soup. Easiest-Ever Biscuits combine the ease of cream biscuits (no cutting fat into flour) with the ease of drop biscuits (no rolling and cutting). For a dough with a droppable consistency that isn’t greasy and doesn't spread too much, we increase the fluidity of the cream. Warming the cream to between 95 and 100 degrees melts the solid particles of butterfat dispersed throughout, and makes a dough that is moister and scoopable and that rises up instead of spreading out in the oven.
The Best SaucepansThe saucepan is a kitchen essential, used to make everything from soup to custard. Which is best?
Dinner 2: Cioppino with Romaine and Watercress Salad
The Best Slotted SpoonsWe rounded up eight dishwasher-safe nylon, silicone, and stainless-steel spoons, and used them to fish out green peas, poached eggs, meatballs, and jumbo shrimp from liquids in different kinds of cookware.
Dinner 3: Glazed Chicken Breasts and Acorn Squash
Apple-Maple Glazed Chicken Breasts feature perfectly rendered skin, moist meat, and a complex glaze. We lightly coat the chicken with flour to enhance browning and provide a good grip for the glaze. Corn syrup, which is half as sweet as sugar, gives the glaze just the right amount of stickiness while keeping the sweetness level in check. Acorn Squash with Brown Sugar starts in the microwave, which yields tender, silky smooth squash. We then brush the cooked squash with butter and brown sugar before broiling it to create a rich, caramelized exterior.